Curse of Slate Rock Manor – new screenshots of the final game

Red Panda Games is almost ready to launch its visual novel Curse of Slate Rock Manor, which we first told you about in March. They sent us a new batch of screenshots that shows off the game’s moody atmosphere and introduces you to a couple of the characters you’ll meet along the way.

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Visual novel developer explores alternative funding opportunities

Curse of Slate Rock Manor is an upcoming visual novel with a couple of unique things going for it. Firstly, while many visual novels are dating sims, this one features a mystery theme with hundreds of choices to make as you investigate the disappearance of a friend. As well, the developer is exploring alternative ways of funding the game through social networks.

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

The story centers around three friends who are about to graduate from college. Just before their graduation ceremony, one friend goes missing while trying to photograph ghosts in a haunted manor. The other two friends travel to the manor in the small mid-western U.S. town to look for their missing friend, and discover that foul play, or something much more mysterious, is involved.

When finished, the game will have a fully voice-acted script, more than 100 scenes to explore with 65+ unique backgrounds, and more than 100 meaningful choices to make that will lead to dozens of different endings.

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Curse of Slate Rock Manor is being developed by Red Panda Games, the indie studio whose past project have included the causal RPG Bipo: Mystery of the Red Panda. According to the studio’s President and Founder, Lexington Alexander, the game is mostly finished but needs additional funding to produce the final art and audio.

Unlike a lot of developers who fund their projects by securing business loans or publishing deals, Red Panda Games is exploring alternative sources of funding through social media sides like Kickstarter.com and IndieGogo.com. Such sites let indie studios create a donation system that lets them offer customized rewards to people who donate to their game. Depending on how much a person donates, rewards can be anything from early access to the beta program to the donor’s name in the credits or special game swag like T-shirts or posters.

Curse of Slate Rock Manor

“We attempted to get traditional business loans from banks and credit unions, but business loans are very difficult to get in a down economy,” explained Alexander. “We also looked into publishing deals, but we felt that the publishers wanted too much for the small amount of money that we were looking for. Plus, we really didn’t want to give up control over the creative direction of the project.”

You can find links to Curse of Slate Rock Manor‘s donation pages at IndieGogo and Kickstarter.

The game is expected to launch in November, 2011 for PC.